TUCSON, Ariz., Sept. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the Commander in Chief holds open the prospect of a military strike on Syria, while asking Congress to hold off on taking a vote, Physicians for Civil Defense urges Congress to consider the following issues:
1. Who possesses and has used chemical weapons?
The UN report is still pending, and a 100-page Russian report has been presented to the UN. This report is said to show that the chemical weapons shells are very different from Syrian army weaponry and very similar to those made by rebel groups. Thus, some believe that the chemical weapons were used in a "false flag" attack designed to provoke U.S. intervention to undermine the Assad government and support the insurgency. It is possible that both sides possess, and have used these weapons.
2. How can the weapons be secured and destroyed?
The U.S. has had a very expensive and dangerous project to destroy its vast stockpiles of poison gas. The Chemical Weapons Convention treaty was ratified in 1997, and the process of destruction is not quite complete. How can this be done in war-torn Syria? What if rebel groups are making "kitchen sarin," as has been alleged?
3. What might be the outcome of a U.S. strike?
In an interview with Charlie Rose, Assad warned that the U.S. should expect "every action" in retaliation.
In an online poll, RT.com asked: "If Washington green lights unilateral military response on Syria, what will the end game look like?" The answer "a catastrophic conflict engulfing the entire region including Israel and Iran" was chosen by 57%.
4. What is the war ultimately about?
While there are many complicating issues, energy is a key factor, suggests the September 2013 issue of Civil Defense Perspectives: access to affordable, abundant energy, and maintenance of a monopoly on supply. Competing interests are Russia, which is heavily dependent on oil and gas revenues from Gazprom, and Saudi Arabia and other members of OPEC. The war for dominance over energy supply is also being fought on other fronts, as in Arab-funded opposition to hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") in the U.S., which could lead to U.S. energy independence.
One thing is clear, cautions Physicians for Civil Defense: "Everything in the [Middle East] is connected to everything else." And the potential for doing harm is enormous.
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Contact: Jane M. Orient, M.D., (520) 323-3110, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Physicians for Civil Defense